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IOSR Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (IOSR-JMCE)

e-ISSN: 2278-1684,p-ISSN: 2320-334X, Volume 12, Issue 4 Ver. IV (Jul. - Aug. 2015), PP 57-64
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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivity of marble dust-soil


composite
Divya Devarajan1, Aswathy Sasikumar2
1

(M. Tech student, Civil Engineering Department, Kerala University, India)


(Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, Kerala University, India)

Abstract: Hydraulic conductivity is the prime factor which decides the suitability of a material to be used as a
landfill liner. It is necessary that a liner material in landfill remain nearly impervious for obstructing the
leachate or waste water from contaminating the ground water and surrounding soil. In this study, a locally
available clayey soil is tested for hydraulic conductivity by treating it with marble dust till 20%. The soil
samples are compacted using standard and modified proctor compactive effort using moulding water contents
-2, 0 and +2 percentages relative to optimum. The value of coefficient of permeability is observed upon addition
of varying percentages of marble dust. The value of coefficient of permeability upon addition of a minimum
stress is also studied and the effect is evaluated. The coefficient of permeability was found to decrease till 12.5
percentage marble dust addition and there after it remained relatively constant. It was also found to decrease
with higher moulding water content. Using the results, compaction plane of acceptable zones were also plotted,
from which marble dust addition percentages satisfying the regulatory value of coefficient of permeability 1 x
10-9 m/s is proposed as 25%.
Keywords: Compactive effort, Hydraulic conductivity, Landfill liner, Marble dust, Relative to optimum

I.

Introduction

Proper waste management is a factor which indicates the good organization and health of a society. The
worldwide used method for proper waste management is an Engineered landfill, which has selected components
for serving proper enclosement and treatment of waste. Only if the components of landfill work properly, will
the waste management be effective. One of the most important components of landfill is a liner system, which
protects the part of landfill in contact with soil. The landfill liner helps in obstructing any leakage (of leachate or
waste water) from contaminating the groundwater and surrounding soil. The liner system should have certain
satisfactory properties to help the proper functioning of a landfill. The basic requirement is that the liner should
have least permeability i.e. the coefficient of permeability of the material should be in the range of k 1 x 10-9
m/s. This is the basic requirement that any liner material should possess. Studies have suggested that a plasticity
index greater than or equal to 7 % is also necessary for the material to be suitable as liner. Other factors include
minimum load carrying capacity, volumetric shrinkage strain etc.
In the study conducted by Boynton (1985), the effect of the type of permeameter used, diameter of the
specimen, storage time and desiccation cracking on permeability of compacted clay was studied. Kaolinite and
Fire clay were used for the study. Permeameter like compaction mould permeameter, consolidation
permeameter, rigid and flexible permeameter were used and it was concluded that there was only a slight
variation in the measured values with different permeameters. It was also observed that the hydraulic
conductivity of undisturbed samples increased with increase in the sample diameter. Also hydraulic conductivity
decreased with increase in storage time up to 2 months and increased till 6 months [1]. Osinubi [2] in1998
conducted study on the permeability of lime treated lateritic soil. The test was done on residual lateritic soil
treated up to 8% quicklime, in order to evaluate the effect of lime content, curing period and compactive effort
on permeability of soil. It was ascertained that at 4% lime content the permeability increased to maximum and
later on reduced. . In the case of cured specimen, permeability increased with curing period up to 14 days and
decreased after that. Osinubi et al. in the year 2005 experimented the use of lateritic soil as landfill liner. Eighty
four specimens were compacted at various moulding water content and permeated with water and compacted
with four different compaction energy namely standard proctor test, modified proctor test, west African test and
reduced proctor test. It was understood that the hydraulic conductivity decreased with increase in dry unit
weight and initial saturation, especially at higher fines content [3].
Waste marble dust is the fine waste portion of marble formed through the chiseling and polishing of
marble pieces. These processes are done by spraying water over it. So the waste marble is discarded as slurry,
which on drying gets transported by wind and cause problems to humans and society. These wastes are also
produced from buildings under construction where tiles are laid and polished. Thus the effective utilization of
this waste is of high importance, and has been used as cement replacement additive in concrete blocks. Studies
relating to utilization of marble dust to improve soil properties have been evolving in the recent past.
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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivity of marble dust-soil composite


In the current study, marble dust is treated to a locally available soil collected from
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala to analyse the variation in hydraulic conductivity with different effects.

II.

Materials And Methodology

2.1 Materials used


2.1.1 Soil
The soil used in this study is naturally occurring clayey soil collected Thiruvananthapuram district,
Kerala which was obtained through quarrying from English Indian clay Ltd.
2.1.2 Marble dust
The marble dust used in the study is collected from marble producing industries, Bangalore. The
sample was air dried before testing. They were added to soil in varying percentages of 5, 10, 12.5, 15 and 20%
of soil. The particle size distribution and specific gravity tests were done for marble dust and the results are
obtained as in Table 1.
Table .1: Properties Of Marble Dust Used
Properties
Percentage of silt sized particles (%)
Percentage of clay sized particles (%)
Specific gravity

Value obtained
60
40
2.63

2.2 Methodology
2.2.1 Index properties
The tests to determine index properties of soil were done using IS 2720.1985 (Part V). They were done in
soil treated with 0, 5, 10, 12.5, 15 and 20% marble dust to understand the variation in properties of untreated as
well as treated soil.
2.2.2 Compaction tests
The tests to determine the optimum moisture content and maximum dry density were done using both
standard proctor compactive effort and modified proctor compactive effort according to IS 2720.1980 (Part VII)
and IS 2720.1983 (Part VIII) respectively. The same is repeated for soil treated with 5, 10, 12.5, 15 and 20%
marble dust.
2.2.3 Hydraulic conductivity testing
Hydraulic conductivity testing was done using consolidometer apparatus and falling head method was
used, according to IS 2720.1986 (Part XVII). The permeant used was water and value of coefficient of
permeability was recorded once it reached a constant value after complete saturation. The value of coefficient of
permeability without any stress addition and also on an additional stress application of 200kPa was also
recorded; 200kPa being the minimum load bearing capacity of a liner material. The test were done in both soils
compacted at OMC -2%, OMC and OMC +2% with their respective dry density.

III.

Results And Discussion

3.1 Index Properties


The particle size distribution of soil is presented in Fig. 1 and the index properties of soil is summarised
in Table 2. From the test results, it was identified that the soil can be classified as clay of intermediate plasticity
(CI) according to Unified Soil Classification system. The soil contains 21.5% sand, 20.5% silt and 58% clay
particles. The variation in Liquid limit, Plastic limit, Plasticity Index, Shrinkage limit, and Specific gravity is
also provided.

Fig.1. Particle size distribution of soil


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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivity of marble dust-soil composite


Table.2. Properties Of Soil
Value obtained
Properties

10

Natural water
content (%)
Liquid limit (%)

12.5

15

20

47

43.1

42.2

42.1

42

40.75

Plastic limit (%)

25.3

34.1

34.8

34.9

35

36.7

Shrinkage limit (%)

19.4

27.9

28.7

29.1

29

28.8

Plasticity index (%)

21.7

8.94

7.38

7.1

6.9

Specific gravity

2.48

2.49

2.5

2.51

2.52

2.53

Standard Proctor

31.1

30.9

28.8

28.1

27.2

26

Modified Proctor

22.4

20.3

20.1

19.9

19

18.9

Standard Proctor

1.384

1.393

1.4

1.423

1.434

1.48

Modified Proctor

1.634

1.64

1.65

1.653

1.657

1.675

22.5

Optimum moisture
content (%)

Maximum dry
density (g/cc)

Colour

White

3.2 Compaction characteristics


The maximum dry density and optimum moisture content of untreated and marble dust-treated soil is
obtained through standard as well as modified proctor method. As the percentage of marble dust addition
increases from 0% to 20%, it was observed that the maximum dry density increased from 1.384g/cc for 0%
marble dust to 1.552g/cc for 20% marble dust and the optimum moisture content decreased from 31.1% for 0%
marble dust to 24% for 20% marble dust addition with standard proctor effort. With modified proctor effort the
trend was same, with optimum moisture content decrease from 22.4% at 0% marble dust addition and 18.9% at
20% addition. The variation in maximum dry density also indictaed increase from 1.634g/cc at 0% dust addition
to 1.675g/cc at 20% marble dust addition.
The decrease of optimum moisture content is accounted to the fact that the replacement of soil with
marble dust reduces the attraction to water particles. The increase in maximum dry density is related to the
increased specific gravity of marble dust (2.63) replacing soil with lower specific gravity (2.5) [4]. The
variations of optimum moisture content and maximum dry density with different marble dust additions using
both compactive efforts are presented in Fig. 2a and 2b.

(a)
(b)
Fig.2. Variation with marble dust addition in (a) optimum moisture content, (b) maximum dry density

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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivity of marble dust-soil composite


3.3 Hydraulic Conductivity testing
The results of the hydraulic conductivity for the various compactive efforts and marble dust treatment
as monitored through the various soil parameters that can affect the hydraulic conductivity, which includes
moulding water content, water content relative to optimum, additional stress application and the marble dust
content, are discussed.
3.3.1Effect of marble dust addition at OMC
The variation of hydraulic conductivity with varying percentages of marble dust addition is shown in
Fig. 3. It can be seen that the hydraulic conductivity decreases to a minimum till 12.5% marble dust addition in
soil and there after remains relatively constant for both compactive efforts. The initial decrease in hydraulic
conductivity is due to the reduction in pore spaces as the fines from the marble dust filled the voids thus
reducing water flow. After this, the added marble dust particles remain unbonded with soil which results in a
flocculated mix and thereby permeability increased slightly.

Fig.3. Variation in coefficient of permeability with varying percentage of marble dust content
3.3.2 Effect of moulding water content
The effect of moulding water content with coefficient of permeability is indicated in Fig. 4a to 4f. It
can be seen that the k value decreases as the moulding water content increases for both standard proctor
compaction as well as modified proctor compaction.
From the results, it can be observed that with 0% marble dust addition, a maximum value of k = 1 x
10-9m/s was not achieved with both standard and modified Proctor effort. With 5% marble dust addition, k = 1
x 10-9 m/s was achieved at 20.2% moulding water content using modified Proctor effort and none with standard
Proctor effort. With 10% marble dust addition, k = 1 x 10 -9 m/s was achieved at 19.8% moulding water content
using modified Proctor effort. Soil samples compacted using standard Proctor effort with 5% and 10% marble
dust addition did not give the desired value. Using 12.5% marble dust addition, maximum value of k = 1 x 10 -9
m/s was achieved at 28% moulding water content using standard Proctor effort. With modified Proctor, it was
obtained at 18.4% moulding water content. Upon adding 15% marble dust, maximum value of k = 1 x 10 -9 m/s
is obtained at 28.7% water content using standard Proctor and using modified Proctor, 17.7% moulding water
content gave k = 1 x 10-9 m/s. With 20% marble dust addition, 27.85% moulding water content using standard
Proctor and 18% water content using modified Proctor gave k = 1 x 10 -9 m/s..
3.3.3 Effect of water content relative to optimum
The variation in coefficient of permeability with water content relative to optimum upon addition of
different percentages of marble dust is given in Fig. 5a to 5f. From the trend obtained, it can be understood that
k decreased with higher moulding water content and vice versa. This is so because the soil compacted at higher
moulding water content resulted in soil having lesser voids which conduct flow since the soil becomes more
deflocculated. Higher water content also helped in formation of soil matrix in a closed pattern resulting in lower
hydraulic conductivity.
From the results, it can be observed that with 0% marble dust addition, a maximum value of k = 1 x
10-9 m/s was not achieved using either standard or modified proctor effort. With 5% marble dust addition,
maximum value of k = 1 x 10-9 m/s was achieved at optimum moisture content using modified proctor effort.
With 10% marble dust addition, maximum value of k =1 x 10-9 m/s was obtained at 0.4% relative to optimum
moisture content at dry side of optimum using modified proctor. Addition of 5% and 10% marble dust in soil
compacted using standard proctor effort did not produce the required result. Using 12.5% marble dust addition,
with standard proctor 0.1% relative to optimum moisture content at dry side of optimum gave a maximum value
of k = 1 x 10-9 m/s. With modified proctor, k = 1 x 10-9 m/s is obtained at 1.6% relative to optimum moisture
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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivity of marble dust-soil composite


content at dry side of optimum. Upon adding 15% marble dust, maximum value of k = 1 x 10-9 m/s is obtained
at 1.5% relative to optimum moisture content at wet side of optimum using standard proctor. Using modified
proctor, 1.3% relative to optimum moisture content at dry side of optimum gave k = 1 x 10-9 m/s. With 20%
marble dust addition, 1.7% relative to optimum moisture content at wet side of optimum using standard proctor
and 0.85% relative to optimum at dry side of optimum using modified proctor gave k = 1 x 10-9 m/s.

(a)

(a)

(b)

(b)

(c)

(c)

(d)

(d)

(e)

(e)

(f)
Fig.4: Variation in k with moulding water content
(a)0% (b)5% (c)10% (d)12.5% (e)15% and (f)20%
marble dust
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(f)
Fig.5. Variation in k with relative water
content(a)0% (b)5% (c)10% (d)12.5% (e)15%
and (f)20% marble dust
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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivity of marble dust-soil composite


3.3.4 Effect of additional stress application
For making a soil suitable as liner material, it should have a minimum load carrying capacity of
200kPa. Effect of such an additional stress on soil is studied, to understand the variation in coefficient of
permeability induced by it. The variation in coefficient of permeability was found to reduce upon addition of
external stress. The additional stress application resulted in more denseness of soil matrix, leading to
unavailability of pores to conduct flow. Thus k value was found to reduce further upon stress application. The
variation in coefficient of permeability with different percentages of marble dust addition at 2% dry of optimum
moisture content, at optimum moisture content and 2% wet of optimum moisture content using both compactive
efforts is shown in fig.6 (a, b and c) and fig.7 (a, b and c).

(a)

(b)

(c)
Fig.6. Variation in coefficient of permeability using
standard proctor effort at (a) 2% dry of optimum
(b) optimum (c) 2% wet of optimum

(a)

(b)

(c)
Fig.7. Variation in coefficient of permeability using
modified proctor effort at (a) 2% dry of optimum
(b) optimum (c) 2% wet of optimum

3.3.5 Acceptable zones


A zone of acceptance was plotted for each of the marble dust addition percentages. This was done by
relating dry density and moulding water content with the desired value of coefficient of permeability i.e. k 1 x
10-9 m/s. The compaction planes were used for the purpose and the acceptable zones for each percentage of
marble dust addition is given in Fig. 8a to 8e.

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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivity of marble dust-soil composite

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivity of marble dust-soil composite

(e)
Fig.8. Acceptable zones for (a)5% marble dust, (b)10% marbe dust, (c)12.5% marble dust, (d)15% marble dust,
and (e)20% marble dust
The acceptable zone for coefficient of permeability for untreated soil could not be plotted since none of
the values obtained gave the desired value. For 5% marble dust addition, soil compacted at moulding water
content ranging from 20.2 to 24.4% fell within acceptable zone (Fig. 8a). For 10% marble dust treatment,
moulding water content from 19.8 to 22.6% fell within acceptable zone (Fig. 8b). With 12.5% dust addition, soil
compacted at moulding water content from 18.4 to 30.4% came inside the acceptable zone (Fig. 8c). Moulding
water content from 17.7 to 29.2% came under the acceptable zone with 15% marble dust addition (Fig. 8d). For
20% marble dust addition, moulding water content from 18.2 to 28.2% t gave necessary results (Fig. 8e).
The plots of acceptable zones show that 12.5, 15 and 20% marble dust addition gave the best suitable
compaction plane on which coefficient of permeability, k 1 x 10 -9 m/s is mostly satisfied. Out of the 6
specimens tested, 3 lie within the acceptable zone. Considering the range of water content falling within
acceptable zone and plasticity index ( 7%), 12.5% marble dust addition can be considered as optimum.

IV.

Conclusion

Locally available soil was treated with waste marble dust to evaluate the variations in hydraulic
conductivity. The compacted soil samples using Standard and Modified Proctor effort were tested in
consolidometer and an additional stress was also applied to study the effect. From the results obtained, the
following conclusions can be arrived upon.

Compaction using marble dust resulted in higher maximum dry density and lower optimum moisture
content.

The coefficient of permeability was found to decrease till 12.5% marble dust addition and it later on
remained relatively constant.

Application of additional stress resulted in reduced hydraulic conductivity, due to formation of dense soil
matrix.

Soil compacted using modified proctor effort gave better results when compared to that compacted with
standard proctor effort.
Based on the plots of acceptable zone and plasticity index value, addition of 12.5% marble dust in soil
provided the most optimum results considering volumetric shrinkage strain values.

References
[1].
[2].
[3].
[4].

Boynton, S. S., and David E. D., Hydraulic conductivity tests on compacted clay, J. Geotechnical Engrg., 1985, 465-478.
Osinubi, K. J., Permeability of lime-treated lateritic soil, J. Transportation Engrg., 1998, 465-469.
Osinubi, K. J., and Nwaiwu, C. M. O., Hydraulic Conductivity of Compacted Lateritic Soil, J. Geotechnical Engrg, 2005, 10341041
Kumar, A., Ghous, B. K., and Muhammad, P. A, Effect of marble powder on various geotechnical properties of Jamshoro soil,
Advancing Civil, Architectural and Construction Engineering & Management, ICCIDCIII, 2012

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